A two-day knowledge transfer workshop was organized at Surat, Gujarat, for a 20-member delegation comprising government officials from Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and industry representatives from Ludhiana, Punjab. This workshop jointly hosted by J-PAL South Asia and Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC India), was attended by officials from Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), prominent representatives from South Gujarat Textile Processors Association (SGTPA), and the NCDEX e- Markets Limited (NeML). The workshop aimed to sensitize the participants about the pilot Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in Surat. The sessions included presentations describing the milestones in implementing the pilot ETS in Surat and the innovativeness offered by market-based instruments for environmental regulation.

Members from the Surat Association and a delegation from Ahmedabad industrial association, where the current scale-up of ETS is being undertaken, also joined the knowledge exchange program. During the workshop, industry representatives and PPCB officials actively participated in the question and answers rounds. Most questions revolved around the market design elements, such as cap-setting, permit allocations, and permits pricing. Participants were keen to understand the parameters for selecting CEMS devices and trade-offs in selecting one device type over the other.

A half-day industry visit was organized to three industries from the Surat sample to demonstrate the working mechanisms of CEMS and Data Acquisition System (DAS) for the Punjab delegation. The participants visited the factory floors, the DAS control room in each plant and spent the day interacting with the industry owners, industry personnel monitoring and managing CEMS, engineers from the CEMS vendors, as well as the J-PAL field and research teams. The attendees were given live demonstrations of CEMS by the vendors elaborating on the working principles of the devices. The queries raised by the delegation were addressed by the industry and research personnel who accompanied them during the industry visits

Before the workshop, Shri Krunesh Garg, Member Secretary of the PPCB, had stated, “This workshop is key in building capacity among participant units on the use of CEMS and ETS for reducing particulate matter in the dyeing cluster across Ludhiana. The ETS in Gujarat is an innovative mechanism to regulate industries, and PPCB is keen to learn from their experience in Surat and Ahmedabad and support instituting a CEMS mandate for environmental regulation in the state.”

Dr. Anant Sudarshan, South Asia Director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, said, “From our multi-year association with GPCB in implementing ETS in Surat, we now have clear indications that emission markets can reduce pollution. We are extremely excited to now work with PPCB. This knowledge exchange workshop between senior officials of both pollution control boards is a progressive step in this direction.”

ETS was first introduced by GPCB in 350 highly polluting solid fuel-burning industries in Surat in 2019 to establish a monitoring system for particulate emissions trading to regulate industrial pollution in the Surat area.

In June 2021, the Government of Punjab entered into a collaboration with EPIC India and J-PAL South Asia to launch an ETS in Punjab. ETS is an innovative market-based system for environmental regulation that has the potential to transform the trade-off between environmental quality and growth, improving air quality through a mechanism that is transparent, predictable, and with lower costs of compliance to industry. In addition, continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) can enable better targeted regulatory restrictions (cumulative load standards instead of point concentration standards) and significantly improve the information and ability of regulators to monitor the industry. Currently, the ETS program in Ludhiana is being implemented by the Punjab Pollution Control Board with the technical expertise of researchers at the EPIC, Yale Economic Growth Center, and J-PAL South Asia.

Read more about the visit here